Cold, colder, coldest!! 3 words to describe the current daytime temperature. Everyone I talk to is really mad about this cold weather spell. This has possibly been the most freezing we have seen in years. Even my remote garage opener freezes up. I’ve had to wrap it in a woolen hat to make it work. One yoga participant was stuck in her car for 1/2 hour as her battery died..Tragic!! right? what do you do then to beat the cold?
Winter has me reaching for comfort food. But who am I kidding? Winter or otherwise, food is always a comfort. Its such a basic, basic human need, isn’t it? Right up there, in the order of food, clothing and shelter :)
Yogi principles go a long way in helping balance and heat up the body with warming spices in winter.
Charaka, a master physician describing the fine science of Ayurveda(ancient indian medicine) has this to say
“In fact, the whole world is the teacher for the wise and enemy to the foolish”.
So you see when I translate my Delhi winter cooking recipes, to a pretty severe winter in Canada, I’m just following master guidelines :)
The yogic masters played subtly with nature. They observed that every body type has a quality. Every food has a quality and every season has a quality. They hummed along with nature, delicately and subtly adjusting diet to season..Come winter, as temperatures plummet in Canada, I am reminded of my childhood foods in Delhi. Suddenly heavier, warmer, spicier foods made their way. By the way, never for one moment should you allow yourself to think that Indian people eat spicy food only because we are used to it. We are actually observing the age old rhythm of the yogic masters. Upping heat and spice content in winter and cooling down in summer.
Which is why I simply love this comfort food recipe I’m about to share. I’ve been making it practically every weekend as it comes together quickly & its an absolute sensory delight. But you do have to know what spices work with each other for this cold month.
|For Warm Lemon Rice
½ cup rice(I used long grain, but not basmati) Spice Mix
1 tbsp red skin peanuts(skip if allergic)
1 thai green chili, thinly sliced
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 lemon, squeezed for juice
1 tbsp split yellow peas
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp curry leaves
½ tsp urad seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt to taste
|For the roast potato wedges
1 cup washed, peeled and red potatoes Spice Mix
1/2 tsp dry roasted cilantro powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper(or to taste)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt to taste
Warm Lemon rice
• Wash and rinse rice several times. Drain water and set aside. Basmati is not my typical preference for lemon rice. Its already fragrant and we don’t want its fragrance to compete with the spices
• Boil rice, with whatever technique you are used to. I prefer to boil rice in 1.5 times water till all the liquid is absorbed. Water ratio will vary for different types of rice. Set aside.
• In pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, and let splutter. Then add urad seeds, curry leaves, ginger, peanuts, thai chili and hing. Saute lightly till nuts & seeds get golden brown, then add turmeric powder and stir together. Remove from stove.
• Mix in the cooked rice with spice mix and add salt & lemon juice to taste.
Roast potato wedges
• Wash and cut potato into wedges. Wipe down wedges thoroughly.
• Heat cast iron pan. I’ve moved away from non stick a few months ago, but if you are still tied to your non stick pan, feel free to cook in it.
• Add coconut oil, turmeric powder, cayenne and cilantro powder.
• Stir and then toss in the potato wedges. Cover with lid and stir every now & then to ensure doneness on all sides.
• When they are cooked, wedges will be crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. They will also be very,very fragrant.
• Sprinkle salt to taste. I’m hooked on Himalayan sea salt, but you can substitute with regular sea salt.
That was my food tip for a wintry day. Mustard seeds, cayenne, cilantro, ginger are all heating spices that are going to lift you up & melt away cold creating mucus.
Serve warm lemon rice with roast potato wedges. Yum and so completely fulfilling.. don’t you agree.
I’d like to leave you with an amazing under 3-minute sun salutation stretch that you can do any time to wake up tired winter bodies.
try it out. Its only two and a half minutes long :) and see your whole body warm & wake up..